Three-Cheese Macaroni

Three-Cheese Macaroni

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 1

    stick unsalted butter, plus more for pie plates

  • 1

    cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 5

    cups whole milk

  • ½

    cup all-purpose flour

  • 4

    cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (10 ounces)

  • cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)

  • cups grated fontina cheese (4 ounces)

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼

    teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼

    teaspoon paprika

  • ¼

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1

    pound elbow macaroni


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 10 mini (1 cup) pie plates or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter is bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually pour warm milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, 1 cup fontina, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and transfer pasta to cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Divide mixture among mini pie plates or transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining cup cheddar, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and 1/2 cup fontina over top, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


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